While we certainly can agree that different gospels have different emphases, and that they articulate Christological truths in their own ways, is it really the case that gospels like Mark view Jesus as merely human? Not at all. In fact, it is worth noting that Mark presents Jesus as God from the very opening few verses in his gospel, in a manner that is often missed on a quick reading of that passage.
If stereotyping prevented intelligent and devout religious people from seeing Jesus’ true identity, then how should we strive to view each other today? Jesus offered an answer in the respectful and loving way he treated negatively stereotyped people groups (such as Samaritans, tax collectors, women), and through his words, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly” (John 7:24).
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- Glory Road by Anthony J. Carter
Most of the time, anger feels like it’s caused by something outside us – like other people make us mad. Or this flat tire. All the stupid slow drivers keeping me from getting to work on time are making me angry. My boss makes me so mad. My teenager. My roommate. President Obama. The whole government. Republicans. Democrats. THEY MAKE ME so mad! We don’t usually think of anger as OUR problem. It’s SOMEBODY ELSE doing something to me. It’s something OUTSIDE of me.
One of the frustrations of a short-form essay is that you don’t get to say all the things you’d like to say about the topic. This in turn leads to responses which actually end up saying many of the things you’d have liked to say if only you had more space. So it is with the responses to my Why We Need Small Towns essay published recently at Rod Dreher’s blog and at Brian Gumm’s Restorative Theology.
The essential point raised in both responses is that it’s lovely to speak of the necessity of small-town life and of what small towns can teach us, but if we don’t have a plan for participating in and preserving the economic life of small towns, we are radically unprepared to actually act upon any of our words in any meaningful way. That’s a true point, and certainly one deserving of a response.